Compuware's open Workbench to help new mainframe app coders

Compuware has introduced an open development environment for managing application development for mainframes. The product, called Compuware Workbench, is designed to tackle the growing mainframe skills crisis.

Compuware has introduced an open development environment for managing application development for mainframes. The product, called Compuware Workbench, is designed to tackle the growing mainframe skills crisis.

The product provides an Eclipse-based graphical user interface (GUI), a common framework and a single launch-point to start up Compuware's mainframe products. The Workbench also enables developers to launch other mainframe and distributed products.

As the baby-boomer generation nears retirement, IT organisations will have to recruit and train potential new programmers. Compuware said the next generation of programmers do not have experience with the traditional 'green screen' (TSO/ISPF) interface. Providing them with this modernised, point-and-click option significantly reduces the time associated with what would otherwise be a costly learning curve, Compuware said.

Rose Rowe, vice-president of mainframe strategy at Compuware, said, "We are providing a common platform, that will provide single launch-pad. The Workbench makes people more efficient and helps reduce cost and time."

Eclipse is an open environment so third-party tools can be plugged in, said Tyler Allman, product manager at Compuware.

For instance, he said, since Eclipse comes with a debugging framework for Java, "We can build mainframe configurations which allow newer developers to debug code in order to understand what the legacy is actually doing."

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